Walmart Ad Sales Surge as More Brands Invest in Retail Media

Walmart Ad Sales Surge as More Brands Invest in Retail Media

Walmart ad sales soar! New advertisers, marketplace sellers, and strategic partnerships fuel the retail giant’s ad business growth.

Last quarter, Walmart extended a winning streak on the ad sales front as new advertisers joined its retail media offerings, including many marketplace sellers on Connect in the U.S. and a 30% increase in active advertisers on Sam’s Club. Getting smaller sellers to buy more ads has been a priority for Walmart. It contributes to the big-box store’s goal of creating a one-stop ecosystem where merchants tailor their campaigns using first-party sales data to drive more purchases via Walmart-owned platforms.

Strengths in advertising were echoed in other digital channels in an earnings report that generally impressed investors. Walmart’s e-commerce sales climbed 22% YoY in Q1, a bump attributed to store-fulfilled pickup and delivery and marketplace gains. Walmart slightly raised its full-year guidance, expecting net sales growth between 3% to 4%.

Walmart’s ad segment has been on an upward trajectory as consumer packaged goods brands dump more spending into retail media, digital marketing’s fastest-growing channel. Retail media growth has been fueled by a demand for alternatives to third-party cookies and network owners’ improved sophistication in key areas like measurement and programmatic buying.

Winning more dollars from non-endemic brands or businesses that don’t typically sell through Walmart, like automotive and financial services marketers, is also at the top of Connect’s agenda this year, and the network has made several moves to shore up its appeal.

Walmart is looking to go toe-to-toe with heavyweights like Amazon through its recent acquisition of Vizio for $2.3 billion. The deal brings over the smart TV maker’s advertising solutions and over 500 direct brand relationships. Vizio is also known for wielding a valuable data set that helps track what viewers are watching, which will now sit behind Walmart’s walled garden. Investors did not ask about the acquisition’s impact on Walmart’s advertising plans.

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The retailer is also pushing further into streaming, an increasingly competitive battleground for retail media networks that want to prove they can drive performance beyond sponsored products and display listings on their websites. Walmart, earlier in May, inked a pact with Disney that would leverage Connect’s first-party data to better target and measure campaigns running on platforms like Disney+ and Hulu.